Election Prediction Record Not Bad—What Do Results Mean?

Joel Fox
Editor and Co-Publisher of Fox and Hounds Daily

How’d I do with my Election Day predictions? Not bad. Would I be writing a follow-up article if I had a miserable night gazing into the crystal ball? Here are the predictions and results with a look at what these results might mean:

Presidential Race

As I predicted, Hillary Clinton won by the more than the 2-percentage point margin she had in most polls. Trump secured 75% of the Republican vote, the exact number I cited. That means there was a strong protest vote against him, as I expected. He was undoubtedly below 75% for all Republican voters. The 75% figure reflected those Republicans who voted for president. I imagine a number of Republican voters skipped the presidential vote.

What it Means: Obviously, Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to put one foot in California for the next five months—California and its electoral votes are already in her pocket.

U.S. Senate

Got the Harris-Sanchez final that I (and the polls) expected with Harris winning by a comfortable margin. I wondered if Sanchez could find the sweet spot to lure Republicans along with Democrats in the General Election. I have already seen a “Republicans for Sanchez” Facebook page set up.

What it Means: The novelty of an all-Democratic senate final will grab the attention of California and national media. Sanchez will have to dig down to find some of her Republican roots (she was a registered Republican at one time) and convince Republican voters that she can be a good vote on some issues. The potential Latino-Republican coalition would be a fascinating phenomenon in the current political climate.

Shaping the Legislature

The deep blue state did get bluer as predicted. The Democrats exceeded expectations in a number of Assembly and Senate races, while Republican counts were down. Business saw some success in backing moderate Democrats but the real success would be measured in November to see if moderate Democrats win seats when the Democratic turnout is projected to be even greater.

What it Means: The battle is on for the Democrats to secure the two-thirds vote in the Assembly and Senate. They have a decent shot. However, business friendly Democrats may upset the best laid plans of mice and political consultants.

Local Measures

As predicted, many of the 89 tax and bond local measures passed. As usual, Michael Coleman’s California Local Government Finance Almanac has the best rundown on local measures. According to the site:

Based on election night counts with 100% of all precincts reporting, 70 of the 89 tax and bond measures have passed. Several others are too close to call. All majority vote city tax proposals passed except perhaps one: a one percent sales tax measure in Compton that currently is too close to call at 49.5% yes. All seven school parcel tax measures passed and 41 out of 46 school bonds were approved.

Measure AA in the nine-county Bay Area passed as I expected raising parcel taxes to deal with erosion and wetlands around San Francisco Bay.

What it Means: Local taxes always do well with the voters. There is often token opposition against well-funded interests. The November election will see a slew of local taxes and the track record indicates many will pass. However, if a number of measures appear on the ballot along with statewide taxes, the flood of tax increases passing should slow. The success of the Bay Area’s Measure AA will prompt additional efforts to put regional measures on future ballots.

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